NASCAR is Dying

NOTE: In this piece, NASCAR refers to the Sprint Cup Series, which is NASCAR’s premiere series and what most people think of when they think of the term NASCAR

I’d like to think that the current death spiral for NASCAR started when it’s chief executive endorsed the Klan’s favorite presidential candidate

But, that’s a little simplistic. As far as I can tell, NASCAR’s current problems began on February 18, 2001. Dale Earnhardt died on the last lap of the Daytona 500 and the sport has been looking for the next Intimidator ever since Again, a little simplistic, but there’s an element of truth to it. In a sport where the old-timers always talk about how things will never be as good as the “good old days,” it’s just not possible that any of today’s drivers will ever measure up to Dale Earnhardt, Sr. Think about it: Earnhardt probably knew real moonshine runners, the people who founded the sport. His father and grandfather raced on dirt tracks for money that barely covered their expenses. With all due respect to legacy driver Austin Dillon (an immensely talented star who pilots the number 3 car made famous by Earnhardt), do you think Austin rolled around on the garage floor looking for ball bearings the night before he drove 300 miles to go make twenty bucks at a dirt track? But, is that even what NASCAR is about? Is the “dirt track hero” narrative something that excites today’s younger consumers/fans? After all, today’s NASCAR (particularly the Sprint Cup series) is less about Jim Bob and more about Jimmy John’s™ being “freaky fast” The numbers tell a striking story. The first five races of the season showed steep declines in television viewership

Daytona — 6.6 final rating (down 14% from 2015), 11.4 million viewers (down 15%) Atlanta — 4.1 final rating (down 27%), 6.8 million viewers (down 28%) Las Vegas — 4.4 final rating (down 4%), 7.2 million viewers (down 7%) Phoenix — 4.0 final rating (down slightly), 6.6 million viewers (down 5%) Fontana — 4.0 final rating (down 7%), 6.8 million viewers (down 7%)

And it hasn’t gotten better since then

NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Charlotte earned a 3.2 overnight rating on FOX Sunday evening, down 11% from last year (3.6), down 18% from 2014 (3.9) and the lowest overnight for the race since moving to FOX in 2001 — including rainouts. The race has now set or tied a multi-year low in five of the past seven seasons and each of the past three. Overnight ratings have now declined for all-but-three Sprint Cup races this year, with seven of the 13 down by double-digits and six hitting a multi-year low. The 3.2 overnight is not just low by Charlotte standards, tying the second-lowest overnight for any Sunday Sprint Cup race on FOX. This season has produced the three lowest Sunday overnights, with Bristol also earning a 3.2 and Richmond setting the low bar at 2.9

We’re living in a UFC world. There’s a reason that UFC is being valued at $4 billion. It’s because, more than any sports entity this century, they’ve adapted to the digital lifestyle of young consumers. It’s very easy for UFC fans to share clips on social media with their friends. It’s easy for UFC fans to interact during big fights on twitter, which has become the best sports bar ever. Unless NASCAR pushes fans to share spectacular crashes, which seems a bit morbid, they’re probably not going to be social media friendly. Coca-Cola™ isn’t in the snuff film business Which, gets to the heart of the problem: NASCAR has become too corporate. With billion-dollar brands as part of the equation, it’s impossible for anybody to have any fun. It’s one thing for Jethro to fight Clem, but when it becomes Metro PCS™ endorser slugging it out with Skittles™ spokesperson, it becomes a little less dangerous and a lot more boring So, given the unassailable facts, what is NASCAR to do? So far, a lot of nothing. And, to be fair, in today’s media landscape, there is value to being able to attract an audience of 5 or 6 or 7 million viewers. So, the big brains who run the sport will continue to point to that and not address existential problems which threaten the future of the sport Which brings us back to this guy

 

Trump Hat

 

He’s been repeating that he got more votes than any Republican presidential candidate ever received in history (also true of Mitt Romney in ’12 and John McCain in ’08, etc.). He insists that he’s energized the base. He brags that he’ll bring new people into the fold Meanwhile, America has changed. It’s less white, less male-dominated, and more diverse. The America that could have elected Donald Trump president isn’t there anymore. And, due to the sycophantic bubble he lives in, he won’t make the changes he needs to in order to appeal to more people because he doesn’t think he needs to make any changes Which means we should be pretty close to a NASCAR driver who debuts by wrecking half the field and fighting the other half. He’ll curse profusely in interviews on national television and smoke unfiltered Camel™ cigarettes as he signs women’s ample breasts unapologetically in front of their children. He’ll do Fireball™ shots at the drivers’ meeting and make You Tube videos of him wiping his rear end with NASCAR fine notices. And NASCAR will enjoy a spike in popularity, but the march towards irrelevance will continue On the hood of his car: Make Racing Great Again

Joe Paterno Endorses Donald Trump

On Thursday’s Brad & Britt Podcast we chatted with former Penn State coach Joe Paterno. Paterno’s name was in the news because Donald Trump held a rally in Pittsburgh Wednesday and seemed unaware that Mr. Paterno has been dead for four years

Paterno chatted with Brad and Britt and informed them that things are great in heaven and that he fully supports Trump’s presidential bid. Paterno also revealed that he lunches regularly with other legendary coaches like Ohio State’s Woody Hayes and Alabama’s Paul “Bear” Bryant. Paterno goes on the congratulate North Carolina for passing their controversial “bathroom bill” and says that Governor “Scotty McCreery” is doing a fine job running The Old North State

JoePa is asked about Johnny Manziel a/k/a “Johnny Football” and what he would do about the unruly first round pick from Texas A&M. The legendary coach said, in no uncertain terms, that Manziel could greatly benefit from the “tough love” that he and the other coaches in heaven (like Bryant or Michigan legend Bo Schembechler) could provide

As for the social situation in heaven, Mr. Paterno informed us that once you get beyond the pearly gates, it’s not required that you be faithful to the person you married on earth. Mr. Paterno feels this is a great selling point that is being overlooked and he’s encouraged the management of heaven to really emphasize this great benefit, as it would motivate many people to seek The Kingdom of Heaven

Finally, Mr. Paterno is asked about the late actress Natalie Wood, in light of Wood’s husband, Robert Wagner, finally talking about her death after 35 years. Paterno says that he sees Ms. Wood on a regular basis and she evens puts on shows for everyone in heaven and she, apparently, looks amazing. Paterno leaves us with a hearty “Go Penn State!”

The Brad & Britt Podcast is available free 5 days a week and features news and politics and plenty of satire. If you’re a fan of “The Daily Show”, you might enjoy the wit of Brad & Britt

New York Yankees=America

Last week, we were treated to competing images supposedly representing The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave

Five days later, Governor Bush dropped out of the race. Shortly after he posted that tweet, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio responded

I was surprised that a gun nut 2nd Amendment supporter didn’t point out that corned beef/pastrami kills more people every year than guns

But, I would submit to you that this image

 

is what America is all about. And it’s not because of Babe Ruth or Joe DiMaggio or bleepin’ pinstripes. It’s about this:

Yankees Fight Fraud by Refusing Tickets Scanned on Smartphones

If you read this Wall Street Journal story, it’s rather dry

The Yankees say they scrapped print-at-home tickets to prevent fraud and counterfeiting. Levine said that “the amount of fraud at every game is huge” with PDF tickets, prompting this change. Lehrman countered that the incidence of fraudulent tickets selling on StubHub is 0.01%

First of all, if the New York Yankees are being defrauded, it breaks my heart in seven different ways. I can’t tell you how I cry myself to sleep every night distraught at the idea that the Yankees were cheated out of even one dollar. As you can see, StubHub says it’s not fraud, so what could the Yankees be concerned about? What could it be?

The Daily News sheds some light. Here’s Yankees COO Lynn Trost

“The problem below market at a certain point is that if you buy a ticket in a very premium location and pay a substantial amount of money,” Trost said on WFAN Thursday morning. “It’s not that we don’t want that fan to sell it, but that fan is sitting there having paid a substantial amount of money for a ticket and (another) fan picks it up for a buck-and-a-half and sits there, and it’s frustrating to the purchaser of the full amount.

“And quite frankly,” he added, “the fan may be someone who has never sat in a premium location. So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.”

AHA! “We don’t want our high rollers sitting with the riff raff. It hurts their ‘experience'”. I LOVE THIS

In an America where the gap between the haves and the have nots is wider than the South Rim of the Grand Canyon

The average American believes that the richest fifth own 59% of the wealth and that the bottom 40% own 9%. The reality is strikingly different. The top 20% of US households own more than 84% of the wealth, and the bottom 40% combine for a paltry 0.3%. The Walton family, for example, has more wealth than 42% of American families combined

And, my friend, they don’t even want to sit in the same seat and breathe the same air as you. It causes them physical pain to know that you are sitting in a seat next to them at a fraction of the price. Maybe some rich dude should buy StubHub shut that sucker down, so this atrocity can end

Two things are happening:

  1. The Yankees are responding to specific complaints from wealthy patrons wondering “who let the ragamuffins in?”
  2. The Yankees, a franchise valued at over $3 billion, are launching a pre-emptive strike to make sure that their premium customers aren’t “uncomfortable”

I don’t know which is worse

Couched in all of this is the “those people don’t know how to act” argument, which assumes that some “bum” making forty grand a year acts like a belligerent fool when Thurston and Buffy are simply trying to watch the Bombers take on Baltimore

The message to middle class America couldn’t be clearer: WE DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU. I will say that the Yankees are not alone in giving the backs of their hands to the “little people”. Most other sports franchises have just been less brazen in stating it

Those of us who love the game of baseball look back at those newsreels of old and see gentlemen dressed in suits scattered down the first base line, while the guys in t-shirts mingled with them or sat out in the bleachers. It looked like they drank the same beer, ate the same hot dogs and cheered with the same gusto at Ebbets Field, The Polo Grounds, and, yes, even the old Yankee Stadium. If one of the guys with a bleacher ticket snuck down to field level, would the suit-and-tie crowd have the guy thrown out?

Today, we get calls to Make America Great Again. I’d be for that, if it meant going back to a time when the rich, at least, tolerated the presence of working Americans. I think I’ll start a company that creates glasses that make it so that wealthy people can’t even see anyone with a net worth of less than a million bucks. I could probably get some trust fund boy to finance that one

‘Cause I ain’t gettin’ the money from some workin’ stiff

 

Redskins need President Trump

On Sunday, the Carolina Panthers annihilated the Washington Redskins 44-16. It was complete domination by Carolina, which is now 10-0 on the season going into their Thanksgiving Day matchup at Dallas. The Redskins were so humbled that they only scored 7 (SEVEN) offensive points. So, if you’re Washington, how do you respond to this butt-kicking:

A) Give it up for Cam Newton and the Cats

B) Just stay silent and say nothing

C) Say that the officials screwed you because of the team’s controversial nickname

Let me introduce to you Washington Defensive End Jason Hatcher

I don’t know if it’s about the name or what, but, you know, at the same time, we play football, too. We work our butt off, too. You know, don’t single us out. At the end of the day, it’s the name. Don’t worry about the name. We players and we work our butt off, too. So, I’m just frustrated with it

Wow! Can we go back to arguing about deflated footballs?

So, the theory is that National Football League Officials are SO offended by the Washington NFC football team’s name that they are calling unfounded penalties against Washington, which results in the Washington NFC football teams losing games. Isn’t it possible that the Washington Racial Slurs just SUCK?

Nah! Couldn’t be that

I suppose the officials are also offended by the Detroit football team’s nickname. Also, that Baltimore squad has an unpleasing nickname. And don’t even get me started on that offensive nickname of that AFC team in southern Ohio

Here’s hoping the Trump presidency will do away with this POLITICAL CORRECTNESS that’s wrecking this great nation. I’m sure that President Trump will create some sort of…what’s the word I’m looking for…DATABASE of these offending referees, so we can keep an eye on them

Of course, the owner of the Washington NFC football team, Dan Snyder could REALLY stick it to these officials and just change the name

That would show them